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Each Friday, the Emdashes summer interns bring us the news from the ultimate Rossosphere: the blogs and podcasts at newyorker.com. Here’s this week’s report.

Sarah Arkebauer:

My mom’s been reading scads of Tobias Wolff recently, so T.C. Boyle reading Wolff’s short story “Bullet in the Brain” in the February archive of the Fiction Podcast caught my eye. I found myself fully engrossed in the entire podcast. The story blended cleverness and humor seamlessly, and I enjoyed Boyle’s discussion with Deborah Treisman afterward nearly as much.

The Cartoon Lounge used slideshows in a couple of this week’s posts. The first is in an imaginative treatise on what happens in pictures where the subject hides his hand in his jacket—a light and humorous picture-series. I was even more excited about the second, though, which was a Cartoon-Off between The New Yorker’s Farley Katz and Michael Showalter. I’ve been a fan of Showalter since his hysterical (if short-lived) comedy show Stella (which is now available on Joost), so I was thrilled to see both his cartoons and the interview that followed. Zachary Kanin and Chris Onstad also continued their feud with very funny eighth and ninth episodes, and Drew Dernavich posted a droll reminder about the musical Rent.

I was packing for school on Tuesday night, so I missed Hillary Clinton’s blockbuster convention speech. I hope to see the speech online soon, especially after reading in Goings On about the video preceding it. I enjoyed Andrea Thompson’s post on the successes and failures of Persian restaurants, as well. I was somewhat disturbed, though, by Ben Greenman’s report that Michael Jackson has recorded a collaborative album with David Gest setting the poetry of Robert Burns to music. Yikes.

I’d been tipped off earlier in the week to the plight of the “typo vigilantes,” but The Book Bench provided an excellent and detailed account of their transgressions. I’ve been working on my amateur bookspotting skills, but have not yet come across anything quite so charming as Jon Michaud’s latest sighting. Ever since I noticed, some years ago, that the movie version for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” was in pre-production, I’ve been waiting to see how it will measure up to the story; now, more details are finally becoming available. Also: I liked Rollo Romig’s fascinating article on books for prisoners, which was both haunting and heartening, and a concise post by Jenna Krajeski on a similarity between The Book Bench and George Orwell.

Adam Shoemaker:

This week in Interesting Times, George Packer questions Democrats’ squeamishness about Lyndon Johnson, the one-hundreth anniversary of whose birth was yesterday. “Johnson’s Presidency represented the zenith of American liberalism, and its downfall,” writes Packer. More important, he represents the potential of a converted politician to marshal the forces necessary to realize an ideal. In this sense, perhaps Dr. Martin Luther King’s relationship to Johnson is not unlike Douglass’s to Lincoln. Packer also spends a few paragraphs observing the “disorientation, estrangement, and fragmentation” of political conventions—and why Denver reminds him of the Green Zone.

Hendrik Hertzberg, in his blog subtitled “Notes on politics, mostly,” writes about the current political slumber of Kennedy family, and offers a requiem on the occasion of Teddy Kennedy’s speech at the Democratic convention: “The lion roared one last time, and we were all his cubs.”

Meanwhile Sasha Frere-Jones reports on Little Boots and her foray into lite-brite electronica. The first time I watched this video, I just wished the Tenori-On had been around when I was little. But on second viewing, as I was entranced by the dancing patterns of pixels, I began to wonder if Ms. Boots’ song might have more significance than we know. Frere-Jones also puts in a plug for Kara DioGuardi, the newly appointed fourth judge of American Idol, in whom he sees hope for the show. Finally, two new hop-hop tracks of note, one each from T.I. and Young Jeezy.

The New Yorker Out Loud spent some time this week with the magazine’s winsome television critic, Nancy Franklin, who discusses, among other things, the allure of televised badminton, why swimming will never catch on as a spectator sport, and the flashes of human sympathy and striving for betterment missed by those who shun reality TV.

Finally, Andy Borowitz writes on Sen. John McCain’s newest attack ad over at the Borowitz Report. This time the Arizona Republican questions whether Sen. Obama’s daughters are too young—and too cute—to lead. Let’s just hope they don’t take the Hilton approach and respond in kind.

Previous intern roundups: the August 22 report; the August 15 report; the August 8 report; the August 1 report; the July 25 report; the July 18 report; the July 11 report.

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